Are you over 30?

Badrya Darwish

Hi guys, it’s been a long time! But it’s my habit not to write during Ramadan – to leave the holy month away from criticism and conspiracy theories and instead focus on worshipping and fasting. The funniest part was that many of the most serious issues and news erupted in Ramadan, as if they were timed. Nevertheless, the holy month is over, and a belated Eid Mubarak to you all.

Let’s start with local issues only – away from serious regional politics. No Qatar, no Yemen. No Hamas is a terrorist organization. No other issues, etc, etc. No Iraq. No Daesh. No Mosul battles. Let’s not talk about anything else. Let’s stick to our local issues. They are safer.

This week, my attention was caught by reports of a proposal before the manpower authority to limit work visas only to expat workers aged over 30. I have no idea what this means exactly. I’ve tried to understand it left, right and center, but find no common sense in it. What if a company holds an interview and signs a contract with a potential employee, be it a he or a she, who has the proper skills needed, and what if they are 29? In which way should that make a difference?

Thank God they are not putting this rule for domestic helpers, otherwise all of us Kuwaiti women will march to Hind Al Sabeeh’s office to protest! This only concerns the private sector. I don’t know if it will also apply to workers on the streets, cleaning companies and laborers in all fields – porters at the airport, cleaners at public authorities and streets, security in the malls, etc. All of these menial workers which are super essential for the country must be over 30 years old? But they are healthier and stronger if they are younger and can better adapt to the working conditions in Kuwait including low salaries, crowded living conditions and of course the unbearable heat.

I don’t know about the guys who come up with these sick and funny ideas. In which way are they serving the country? If they want to develop Kuwait, there are real and very significant ways to organize labor in Kuwait. First, stop wasta (connections). Second, stop the trafficking. Third, don’t bring any more unskilled laborers, regardless of their age. Fourth, get rid of the unskilled labor that has come here by wasta. This is the way to organize labor in Kuwait. Put stricter rules and enforce them when it comes to decent accommodation, salaries paid on time and working and living conditions, so that we can attract quality, skilled workers. Not quantity.

Thank you very much.

By Badrya Darwish
badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net

 

This article was published on 05/07/2017